Top products from r/IRstudies

We found 26 product mentions on r/IRstudies. We ranked the 67 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/IRstudies:

u/freedompolis · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

Hi, here's a good list of books to get things going.

/u/alexderlion /u/n4kke /u/thucydidesnuts

Recently, there's quite a bit of interest in starting a book club in /r/geopolitics. It would be a great idea to team up.

/u/uppityworm and I were talking about working together with them, and he has contacted /u/fusionsc2 about that. /u/fusionsc2 is a fellow book lover and is interested in discussing geopolitics with people of similar interest.

Given the large amount of responses to reading a book about Africa in the thread mentioned above, we were thinking about doing a book on Africa for our next book. Let us know about your opinions.

/u/fusionsc2 has mentioned African Conflicts and Informal Power: Big Men and Networks. In the book list listed above, there are also some additional great books on Africa,

[The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence] (, a critically acclaimed book that provides a comprehensive primer on political, economic, and major social developments in post-colonial African nations.

Season of Rains: Africa in the World, This book captures the broad spectrum of political, economic, and social foundations that make Africa what it is today. According to the Amazon reviews, it touches on recent economic and tech development in reviews. So might be good for future estimates.

China into Africa: Trade, Aid, and Influence Among the specific topics tackled here are China's interest in African oil; military and security relations; the influx and goals of Chinese aid to sub-Saharan Africa; human rights issues; and China's overall strategy in the region. It seems to be THE book on the relationship between China and Africa, according to many of the Amazon reviews.

So take a look at the books and also the book list, and we can discuss our next book after the our 3rd sessions. It would be great if you have any other additional books to recommend on Africa.

u/sgt0pimienta · 3 pointsr/IRstudies

There are three books I'd like to add as suggestions:

  • Development as Freedom, by Amartya Sen. 285 pages, 5 hour and a half read without pauses.

  • The Dictator's Handbook, by Bruce B. de Mesquita and Alistair Smith. 300 pages, 5 hour read without pauses.

  • Making Globalization Work, by Joseph Stiglitz. 5 hour, fifteen minute read without pauses.

    For reference, the site I used says World Order by Henry Kissinger, the book we read previously, takes 6 hours to read. So these books a bit shorter.

    Development as Freedom:

    This book proposes a relatively new theory for public policy based on free agency. Amartya Sen's thesis is that the objective of governing and developing a country is to provide freedom to its citizens. He does a pretty good analysis of how a country works policy-wise and he makes a proposal to reach this free agency goal. I think this book would broaden perspectives on how to view a government's labor, on what development is, and what it should be.

    The Dictator's Handbook:

    In this book, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alistair Smith decompose multiple historical situations both in governing and in private enterprises in order to define the universal dynamics of power. It is a great book and it explains, with sufficient evidence, what a leader needs to capture and retain power in any system imaginable by redefining how we view government systems.

    Making Globalization Work:

    I have read a bit of the previous books, but only a single chapter of this one, so instead I'm going to quote a review on amazon:

    > Three years ago, I was a little freshman economics student at a small college. My World Politics professor assigned me this book to read halfway through the semester, and I am quite happy that I read it. Stiglitz is blessed with both brains and writing ability, something that too many economists do not have [...] Stiglitz does an exceptional job of summarizing much of the baggage that international policy makers carry from their past mistakes.

    >The largest criticism that people have of the book is that much of what he says has been said by other people. This is true. But those other people can't write and aren't remotely as accessible as Stiglitz is. If you're looking for a good jump-in, read this book.

u/bwcampbell · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

Well, as an IR scholar that applies inferential network methods to substantive IR questions, I think the previous findings show promise for a thriving research agenda. Send me a PM if you'd like to talk about anything in particular. If you're looking for IR-substantive references, here are some favorites:

For networks specific texts, it depends on what level you're at. I'd recommend Wasserman and Faust as a foundation:

But this is also a favorite:

From that, I'd recommend reading this:

u/n4kke · 1 pointr/IRstudies

I understand the topic choice, seems interesting, but why exactly this book?

I suggest​ China's Second Continent, which is also more up to date.

*One of the Best Books of the Year at • The Economist • The  Guardian • Foreign Affairs

When is the deadline for deciding a new book, and how do we decide? :)
Maybe we need a seperate post.

u/g_agamben · 3 pointsr/IRstudies

Slaughter wrote a very concise summary of the main IR theories.
Simply look-up and read the main articles referenced in that text/of the authors, and you'll have a solid entry into the theoretical backbone to IR.

With regard to textbooks: I read The Globalization of World Politics before I started my studies and felt it was quite accessible as it split up the main theories, mid-range theories, as well as different issue-areas into nice digestible chunks in a very accessible manner.

If you enjoyed the Slaughter summary and want to truly dig into the academic side of it all: Theories of International Relations was my favourite IR textbook. I got to admit that quite some of our class thought it was at parts too dense, but that is exactly what I was looking for. Given that you will be doing IR for at least three years, this book should come in useful more than just once.

u/pum1sta26 · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

"World Making: The Art and Science of American Diplomacy"
By David Milne

Pages: 625
Publication Date: September 22, 2015

"[T]he story of the hundred or so years when a sequence of public intellectuals shaped the discourse and practice of U.S. foreign affairs" - Richard Aldous, The Wall Street Journal

Currently reading. Wouldn't mind starting over. Great insight into the intellectuals and the relationships that shaped American Foreign Diplomacy since the 20th century.

u/Oliver1307 · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

We used International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity in the IR class I was assisting in and I thought it did a pretty good job of presenting the main theories. If for some reason you can read French, I would also recommend Théories des relations internationales by Dario Battistella.

u/bfbridgeforth · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

Currently I have on order "Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History" by Robert D. Kaplan. It is under 400 pages. It was recommended to me today by a friend when discussing past issues with the Balkans in preparing for next week's UN Security Council meeting dealing with Kosovo Independence.

u/uppityworm · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

China into Africa: Trade, Aid, and Influence Among the specific topics tackled here are China's interest in African oil; military and security relations; the influx and goals of Chinese aid to sub-Saharan Africa; human rights issues; and China's overall strategy in the region. It seems to be THE book on the relationship between China and Africa, according to many of the Amazon reviews.

u/O2139er · 3 pointsr/IRstudies

I haven't read it but I've heard good things about Drezer's IR/Zombies book.

There are also a number of summaries of it online.

u/crespire · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

I've heard good things about the Drezner book that /u/Volsunga recommends. Personally, my Intro IR course used Oxford UP's The Globalization of World Politics as the main compendium with specific supplemental articles for each major theory and issue we covered.

[edit] I should mention, the Drezner book is going to be the most fun and interesting to read out of all these recommendations.

u/the_georgetown_elite · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

I recommend another Henry Kissinger book, since you liked that one. Try On China. It's about China, and Kissinger knows it well since he and Nixon were the architects for the sudden U.S. surprise opening to China in the middle of the Cold War.

u/soreq · 2 pointsr/IRstudies
  1. Book: Kissinger: The Idealist, 1923-1968. By Niall Ferguson. Penguin Press
    Reason: Get to know him better, especially early years. The demanding intellect needed to find solutions to problems of extreme complexity. Make your own mind up. See review.

  2. Essay: "Moralism and Realism in Political Theory" by Bernard Williams, Princeton University Press, 2006
    Reason: Bernard Williams was a brilliant philosopher concerned with ethics. The essay gives his classic touch and analysis into the difference between realism (facts) and the moralism in political theory - which may be a basis for the counterpoint you are looking for.

  3. Essay: "Donald Trump’s New World Order" by Niall Ferguson, written November 2016. Refers to Kissinger's latest book 'World Order'
    Reason: It gets to your interest in how to make sense of what is going on today

  4. Book: "A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order" by Richard Hass.
    Reason: A student of Kissinger if you like, but as a realist, sees and tries to explain how 'winter is coming.'

  5. Book: "Crowds and Power" by Elias Canetti
    Reason: Masterpiece. Good riposte to David Hume's question "Nothing appears more surprising to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers." He also said that 'force is on the side of the governed.' That would be the real counterpoint to a world Kissinger was working with but did not create.

  6. These books about power I think are key because more than relationships between governments or nation states - is the problem of concentrated power - and it being left into the hands of people with little more than a certain sinister confidence and little real care for other human beings. Bona fide public servants are extremely rare.

  7. What in IR literature is referred to as a 'monopoly on violence' that is the legitimate use of force by government per Hobbes, I would say these days is fast becoming a 'monopoly on anarchy.'

  8. As for your aim in understanding relationships between countries, I would worry more about Mark Zuckerberg, who is practically the Cardinal Richelieu of the Internet. Dangerous. Richelieu said 'deception is the knowledge of kings' while Zuckerberg calls his users in very 21st century language 'dumb f****'. A policy for his billion people plus kingdom that is carved in stone to this day.

  9. The closest counter point to Kissinger's 'Diplomacy' today literally may be someone like Ron Paul and his books and ideas. The closest practitioner of both statecraft and of real moral decision-making maybe Angela Merkel. Keep digging and hopefully some of these musings prove helpful.

  10. Finally, there is a new theatre of war: where it remains to be seen if and how diplomacy is even possible. Cyber warfare. That remains perhaps the growing and future defining pivot on which will rest the relationships between countries. And it really does seem like no one is running the show. That's why Kissinger was right, not to put on rose tinted glasses, in his philosophy (from his first thesis to his last book), but to understand and develop concepts such as deals and restraint and straight forward brokerage. Who do highly militarized, economically dysfunctional, tweetocratic and exceptional-ist Westphalian sovereign nation states answer to? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchers? At an international level, there is anarchy, and all there is left is Diplomacy with the only thing that matters in the end but yet still sells for so little: integrity.

u/Fordow · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

In terms of a fun way to navigate the theoretical underpinnings of IR I would thoroughly recommend Drenzer's Theories of International Politics and Zombies.

In your OP you mentioned links to human nature, this is an area where multiple theories collide. It's a question consistently pondered by the academic community but it is addressed (or dismissed) by most contemporary theories of IR. You shouldn't have to go far into the literature to discover this.

u/alant90 · 1 pointr/IRstudies

International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction, by Cynthia Weber. Great book to get into the basics, as she compares the different theories and their fundamental assumptions with different movies.

u/village_goatling · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

Do you have the history basis? In my university we start with intensive courses on history - first, general history and than we go through the material again, but with emphasis on the international relations. We used bulgarian authors, but any History of international relations would do. Right now I can think of -

Other commonly recommended is Kissinger - Diplomacy and its extension ( I personally don't like Kissinger, but Diplomacy is a fundamental work for IR).,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

u/Bigglesof266 · 4 pointsr/IRstudies

Cynthia Weber's International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction is a good call. It covers the major theories from a more relatable view


My choice would be Daniel Drezner's Theories of International Politics and Zombies. It covers a lot of theories in what I found to be a really approachable and understable way.


Source: Currently studying MA International Relations

u/kingonothing · 3 pointsr/IRstudies

The only disagreement I have with the article is "Danger #2".

The offensive preparations (especially the Schleiffen Plan) of the great powers certainly had a profound effect on the escalation of the conflict, but I think the situation is, at the risk of being reductive, a sound illustration of the prisoners' dilemma.

Some would posit that the great powers assumed the lessons of Snyder's "Danger #2" following World War I, so much so that it informed the Allies' grand strategy in the interwar years, especially France's investment in the Maginot Line. The efficacy of that strategy and the fate of France is well known.

I'm willing to admit though that the accuracy of the concept, when applied to the Pacific, might be totally different.

u/fizzo40 · 1 pointr/IRstudies

Check out Bare Branches by Valerie Hudson

Basic theory is by either cultural beliefs (India) or state policy (China) the preference for male children over females leads to a unnaturally unbalanced population, and on the whole this makes their foreign policy more aggressive and prone to conflict.

u/rapscalian · 5 pointsr/IRstudies

The obvious example that comes to mind is Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.

Another excellent book is Michael Mazarr's Unmodern Men in the Modern World: Radical Islam, Terrorism, and the War on Modernity.

You may also be interested in some of the Islamic perspectives: